22 Weeks Pregnant
Fetal development in week 22
Congratulations! You’re now housing a human who weighs nearly a pound and measures nearly a foot in length!
Your wee babe's perfect little pancreas (a super-duper organ that produces hormones and aids in digestion) is now making its own hormones for your baby's body and brain!
If you were worried, you can finally stop that: your baby's future in the circus as a world-famous tight-rope-walker is secure now that their inner ear is developed to the point that they have their own sense of balance.
Luckily for your little womb-explorer, this new balance promotes physical dexterity, which has them actively feeling out their surroundings where skin, body parts, and the resident umbilical cord are the big sensory experiences.
Your sweet babe is sort of looking like an oversized red prune right now as more and more skin (and therefore wrinkles) are showing up each week.
Not to worry, all those wrinkles are just your baby's way of planning ahead for the time when they’ll start piling on all of that irresistible baby chub.
And how's mom doing?
Take a moment to think about this: your uterus has now stretched to such unholy proportions that it extends up past your belly button!
The not-so-exciting part of this remarkable fact is that growth like this tends to leave stretch marks and can itch like nobody’s business.The reality is: stretch marks are scars on your skin that won’t disappear or react with a topical cream. The best prevention is retaining muscle tone by staying active on a daily basis throughout pregnancy
If it makes you feel any better, stretch marks on the belly are extremely common.
Don’t get suckered into buying really expensive creams that claim to make stretch marks ‘magically disappear'. Also, creams aren't going to prevent them, either... sorry, but skin cells aren't that amenable to topical creams.
The reality is: stretch marks are scars on your skin that won’t disappear or react with a topical cream. The best prevention (read week 19 for an in-depth explanation of stretch marks) is retaining muscle tone by staying active on a daily basis throughout pregnancy.
Skin-cream lies aside, feel free to apply all the aloe-vera you need to alleviate the itching!
STANDARD MEDICAL TEST ALERT
If you're seeing a doctor for prenatal care, they'll be administering a glucose screening test in the upcoming weeks.
The test checks for Gestational Diabetes (GD) a high blood sugar condition that some women are susceptible to during pregnancy - especially those with insulin issues, which're often due to chronic bad diets and inactivity (read: high carbs + sugars, with little to no fresh veggies and fruits).
At most, 5 percent of women actually test positive for this problem, but if you do, you will probably have a few more follow up tests to be sure.
If you end up with a positive test, make a plan with your caregiver to treat the condition and get your insulin levels back to healthy levels.
Untreated, the high sugar content in your blood enables the overproduction of baby fat for your little one, and often results in overly high birth weight which can induce premature birth and/or the necessity to deliver via cesarean.
Lastly, if you're a woman who's been careful to eat right and stay active (you know who you are - you're having a "fit pregnancy" and already felt good about your body and health going in), this test falls under the category of "completely optional" - especially since it's a pain in the ass.